Fixing a failed update to Firefox in Ubuntu

19 12 2009

The problem

I did a routine update to one of my Ubuntu installations this morning, and lo and behold it failed during the Firefox update. Even after a cold reboot I was unable to start Firefox, it was broken.

Not able to browse the internet from Ubuntu to research the problem and never having had a problem like this before I was left with a conundrum. The update manager didn’t show Firefox as needing an update anymore. Eventually I stumbled on the fix, here it is.

The Fix

Launch Synaptic package manager and type in Firefox in the Quick search box. Find Firefox which should have a green check-box indicating it is installed. Right click the green check box and choose ‘mark for re-installation’ from the context menu. Then click on the apply button. It takes about 10 seconds and Firefox should run just fine again.

Click on image to see full size

The Synaptic Package Manager can be found on the Ubuntu menus by clicking on System then Administration.

Install a second web browser

To provide myself with an option to get on the web if Firefox plays up again, I installed the Konqueror web browser. Konqueror is a file manager and file viewer also, therefore replaces several functions should they get compromised also in the future. There are several additional web browsers one can install on Ubuntu, for more details visit Ubuntu’s online community documentation here.

Software versions involved in this problem.

The problem I had involved upgrading from Firefox 3.5.5 to 3.5.6 on Ubuntu 9.10. The reinstall via the Synapic Package Manager I employed should work for a wide variety of corrupted installs.

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2 responses

19 12 2009
Fixing a failed update to Firefox in Ubuntu « JPWhite's Blog | Firefox News on Twitter

[…] See original here: Fixing a failed update to Firefox in Ubuntu « JPWhite's Blog […]

11 01 2010
Ubuntu-News – Your one stop for news about Ubuntu » Blog Archive » Fixing a failed update to Firefox in Ubuntu

[…] the Firefox update. Even after a cold reboot I was unable to start Firefox, it was broken. More here Not able to browse the internet from Ubuntu to research the problem and never having had a problem […]

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